It’s Better To Owe Money To A Friend Than To Owe Money To Someone Who Is Not Your Friend

America’s runaway spending is a problem. So far no one in Washington has either the power or the will to bring that spending to a screeching halt. But at least we are being a little wiser in our borrowing habits.

CNS News posted an article today with the following headline, “Japan Surpasses China as Top Foreign Holder of U.S. Debt.” It would be better if we had no debt, but at least the majority of our debt is held by a country that is not out to destroy us.

The article reports:

In May of this year, the Chinese owned $1,110,200,000,000 in U.S Treasury securities and the Japanese owned $1,101,000,000,000. In June, however, Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities rose only to $1,112,500,000,000 and Japanese ownership climbed to $1,122,900,000,000.

That marked the first time since May 2017 that entities in Japan have owned more U.S. Treasury securities, as estimated by the U.S. Treasury, than entities in China.

In May 2017, the Japanese owned $1,111,500,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities and the Chinese owned $1,102,200,000,000. In June 2017, Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities increased to $1,146,500,000,000 and Japanese ownership declined to $1,090,300,000.000.

Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities, according to the estimates, peaked in November 2013 at $1,316,700,000,000.

…The Federal Reserve owns more U.S. Treasury securities than either Japan or China. As of June 27, according to the Federal Reserve’s balance statement, the Federal Reserve owned $2,110,256,000,000 in Treasury securities.

U.S. Treasury securities held by entities in Hong Kong are counted separately from those in Mainland China. According to the Treasury’s estimate, entities in Hong Kong owned $215,600,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities in June.

Entities in the United Kingdom were the third largest foreign holders of U.S. Treasury securities after Japan and China. In June, entities in the U.K. owned $341,100,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities.

The article concludes:

In explaining its methodology for estimating foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities, the Treasury explained that some countries have higher numbers because owners of Treasury securities from third countries “entrust the safekeeping of their securities” to institutions in these countries.

“Imperfections caused by ‘custodial bias’remain in the current MFH [Major Foreign Holders of U.S. Treasury Securities] table,” said the methodology statement. “Some foreign owners entrust the safekeeping of their securities to institutions that are neither in the United States nor in the owner’s country of residence. For example, a German investor may buy a U.S. security and place it in the custody of a Swiss bank. In both the SLT and the periodic surveys of holdings of long-term securities, such a holding will typically be recorded vis-a-vis Switzerland rather than Germany. This ‘custodial bias’ contributes to the large recorded holdings in major custodial centers including Belgium, the Caribbean banking centers, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.”

It truly is time to cut our spending. We owe too many people too much money.

It’s Good To Have A Friend

The Washington Free Beacon reported today that giving money to the Clinton Foundation has many benefits.

The article reports:

Drug companies that have donated to Hillary Clinton’s foundation received most of the contract money from an international tuberculosis initiative after the foundation was brought on to manage the initiative’s procurement operation, public records show.

Two of every three dollars spent acquiring anti-tuberculosis drugs through the program, which is administered by the World Bank, have gone to two companies—Swiss health care giant Novartis and Indian drug company Lupin Ltd.—that together have donated up to $130,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton and her allies have pointed to the foundation’s international charitable work to deflect allegations of cronyism. However, the millions of dollars in contracts awarded to the two drug companies illustrate how foundation donors profited from laudable causes.

The article also points out:

Clinton has pointed to her foundation’s work in promoting access to pharmaceuticals in the developing world as an example of its laudatory humanitarian mission.

However, critics have noted how beneficiaries of other foundation-backed pharmaceutical access programs have made large financial contributions to the group. Companies that received funds from the foundation to provide low-cost HIV drugs, for instance, were donors to the foundation.

In many cases, the same companies were also lobbying the State Department for lucrative international health contracts while Clinton was secretary of state.

Despite years of collaboration with the industry, Clinton has described pharmaceutical companies as her “enemies,” even as lobbyists for the industry bankroll her presidential campaign.

Unfortunately, this kind of corruption has been going on with the Clintons for a very long time. It needs to end. If she is elected, the Clinton Administration will be a money-making scheme to enrich the Clintons while ignoring the problems and needs of America.

The Truth Matters When You Are Trying To Justify Causing Economic Chaos

Unfortunately in recent years, science has become political. Scientists are not stupid people, and they figured out rather quickly that it is easier to get grant money if you say a crisis of some sort is imminent. The global warming alarmists are a prime example of this. The other part of the story is that if politicians can convince everyone that global warming is man-made, they can use it to control the economies of the major countries of the world. Also, countries that are not economically successful can use the idea of global warming to blackmail countries that are wealthy. All that needs to happen is that the numbers have to be cooked enough to be believable. Well, guess what? The evidence that the temperature numbers are being cooked is piling up.

Herman Cain posted a story on his website today about three countries that have been altering their temperature numbers.

The article reports:

Thanks to the excellent work of the Heartland Institute’s H. Sterling Burnett, we know that at least three countries – Australia, Paraguay and Switzerland – appear to have altered some of their meteorological data to exaggerate the rate at which their temperatures are rising. Burnett writes:

In previous editions of Climate Change Weekly (CCW), I reported weather bureaus in Australia (CCW #139) and Paraguay (CCW #158) were caught adjusting datasets from their temperature gauges. After the adjustment, the temperatures reported were consistently higher than those actually recorded. Science journalist Markus Schär of the Swiss news weekly Weltwoche discovered the Swiss Meteorological Service (SMS) tampered with its datasets as well.

For example, in Sion and Zurich, SMS adjustments resulted in a doubling of the temperature trend. Schär notes there has been an 18-year-pause in rising temperatures, even with data- tampering. As a result, Schär calls the adjustments a “propaganda trick, and not a valid trend.”

In light of significant urbanization resulting in an expanded heat island effect near many temperature gauges, Schär argues the adjustment of raw data to report higher temperatures than are actually measured is unjustifiable. “The corrections … appear so massive that they represent half of the entire temperature increase,” said Schär.

Even with fudged data, governments have been unable to hide the fact winters in Switzerland and in Central Europe have become colder over the past 20 years, defying predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climate alarmists.

When the government comes calling for more of your money in order to fight global warming, it might be a good time to remind them that global warming is not happening. The best site on the internet for scientific information about climate change and what is true and what is not is wattsupwiththat.com. I strongly recommend it.

 

An Insider Speaks About The Iranian Negotiations

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article yesterday about the Iranian nuclear negotiations. Basically, the article says that the talks are going forward and there will be some sort of accord before April Fool’s Day (it would be more appropriate for the agreement to arrive on April Fool’s Day).

The article has a few interesting observations:

So far as we can tell, the Obama administration has capitulated to every significant demand made by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Negotiations that were premised on the objective of foreclosing Iran’s path to nuclear weapons will produce an agreement that finances and facilitates them. As Winston Churchill said of the Munich Agreement, “we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road.”

Unlike the British in 1938, however, most of us have our eyes open. We are not fooled by Hassan Rouhani or the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We do not share the vision of the Supreme Leader of the United States

One surprise in the negotiations was the defection of Amir Hossein Mottaghi, a close media aide to Iranian President Rouahani. He traveled to Switzerland to cover the nuclear talks and is now seeking political asylum there.

The article article reports:

Mottaghi appeared on an Iranian opposition television channel based in London. In his television interview, Mottaghi nicely summed up the negotiations: “The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”

Sometimes truth comes from very unusual places.

What Does This Accomplish?

Yesterday Israel Today posted a story about Swiss aid that will be sent to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Hamas remains on the terrorist list of the European Union of which Switzerland is not a member.

The article reports:

Switzerland has put together a generous financial package to prop up the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip after billions in promised foreign donations following last summer’s Gaza war failed to materialize.

That according to Palestinian officials who spoke to Israel’s NRG news portal, which reported that as part of the deal, the Swiss government would pay the salaries of thousands of Hamas members – many of whom are known terrorists – thereby propping up Hamas rule.

We saw last summer what Hamas does with foreign aid–weapons, tunnels into Israel, planned terror attacks, etc. What is to be gained by sending them more money? We have all seen pictures of children in the Gaza Strip being trained to hate and kill Jews. We have all seen pictures of civilians used as human shields after Hamas attacks Israel. Hamas is not a group that should be receiving money from anyone.

We need to remember that much of the Arab world (Hamas included) does not want a two-state solution–they want a one-state solution where Israel does not exist and all of the Jews are dead. Until someone is in charge of the ‘Palestinians‘ who is willing to accept the existence of Israel, there will be no peace in that region. Even then, it would have to be a leader that people would be willing to follow–to put aside their hatred and be willing to co-exist in peace. That would be wonderful, but I am not sure it is possible.

Meanwhile, funding Hamas will only lead to more war.